Initially, a virtual data room was a service developed to facilitate and speed up M&A transactions. Deal-makers who valued their resources were in a search of a technology that could have minimized the time required for due diligence. And, eventually, they managed: in a contrary to land-based repositories, their virtual platforms proved to be more efficient and convenient and gained the favor of businessmen rapidly.
However, today, VDRs have been adopted by the representatives of diverse spheres and industries that far exceed deal-making and financial transactions: media, politics, science, etc. The functionality of virtual repositories allows exploiting them not merely for storage of financial reports and contracts: regardless the content of files and the purposes of their owners VDRs have a lot to offer in a course of any project. Hence, there is nothing surprising in the fact that research institutions paid attention to the new technology of data storage and exchange and applied it to achieve their goals. One of the areas where virtual repositories are being successfully applied is clinical studies.
Advantages Brought by virtual platforms
Clinical studies, as any other branch of science, are connected with processing of large volumes of confidential information. But the point is that in a case of any possible data leakage the people can be harmed – those who took part in a research as well as the general public. That is why security is one of the primary concerns of those involved in clinical studies. Hence, there is no wonder that VDRs known for their military-level security systems attracted the attention of scientists who worry about data protection.
But the safety of information is not the only benefit that virtual platforms can offer during clinical studies:
- As the rooms can be entered 24/7 from any spot on the planet a collaboration between researchers becomes easier. In a case one scientist needs to consult with someone who works far away, it is enough to invite the expert to the room and share the relevant files with him;
- Q&A section allows the scientists to discuss the research findings, the results of trials, etc. directly within the room. Special branches of questions and answers are being linked to specific files so that no confusion in discussions occurs;
- Instant notifications inform the room users when new information appears on the platform – new messages, questions, files, alterations of the old documents, etc. Thus, it is hard to miss any important data uploaded by colleagues;
- It is easy to update the room: new files can be added in a few seconds with the help of bulk or drag-and-drop uploading tools. It means that the latest findings can be shared with colleagues, life science organizations, licensing partners almost instantly;
- Apparently, not all the information generated in a course of clinical studies is supposed to be exposed to all the room visitors. Digital rights management allows the room administrators to divide all the users into groups and open certain files to certain groups. Due to this option, one platform can be exploited for cooperation with licensing partners, foreign colleagues, internal employees, investors, etc.
The advantages brought by VDRs to those involved in clinical studies are pretty clear. When exploiting such platforms they do not have to worry about the data protection as all the trial results, research findings, and patients’ profiles are under constant and precise supervision. At the same time, they are not limited in terms of collaboration with external groups – it is easy to share and discuss any research related documents and questions via the VDR. Eventually, virtual repositories turn into some kind of conference rooms that bring together scientists and stakeholders from all over the world and help them to focus on solving the acutest questions: the participants may stay updated, may fear no leakages or external intrusions, and may expect the research process to run smoothly.